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Old 09-24-2010, 05:05 PM   #1471
pops_porter
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Originally Posted by richsadams View Post
Can you clarify a couple of things? First is this new…something that just started happening or has it gotten worse over time? Do things get worse or better depending on the weather…particularly when it rains? Also, is it your RS Corrected or RS Uncorrected errors that are rising? It's an important distinction. RS Corrected numbers indicate how many times the forward error correction (FEC) had to be invoked to fix errors since the channel was tuned. The RS Uncorrected number indicates how may times the error exceeded the ability of the FEC to correct it. Final question, do you see the same thing on both tuners or is it just one and is it with the same channels, some of the same channels or all of them?

If your RS Uncorrected is 0 or low teens to hundreds and you're experiencing PQ problems like macroblocking/pixelization then the issue could be poor data in the stream coming from the original provider (HGTV, CNN, etc.) or it's possible that the Tivo is corrupting the data in some fashion. If the RS Uncorrected value is climbing then you most likely have a signal issue as mentioned above.

Bottom line, if your signal strength is 50 to 60 there is absolutely something wrong. Are the cableco techs testing the strength at the coax connection at your TiVo or elsewhere…such as outside or at the headend? Whatever the case, you're never going to have a decent experience with that signal strength.

FWIW things had been going along fine for us when we had Comcast for about a year. All of a sudden all sorts of issues popped up…dropouts macroblocking, etc. Comcast came out and swore everything was "fine". It was not. After three truck rolls a supervisor came out…checked a few things on the street, said he'd be back in a little while. When he returned he said that there was a wiring problem at one of the terminals a few blocks away. Seems a new installation had caused one of their folks to mess up our connection. After that everything was perfect.

Cableco techs often like to blame TiVo for whatever problems arise for all the reasons you can imagine. Don't take "It's fine" for an answer. Get specific readings and post them here. Make sure they understand that until your signal strength is acceptable that you're not going to let things go.

That said, it's quite possible that it's something to do with your inside wiring…old coax, splitters, connectors, etc. The difference in our own house is measurable. The coax that runs into our downstairs family room is brand new. SS is around 95 to 100 across the board. The coax feed that goes upstairs is about 15 years old (original to the house). The SS for the upstairs TiVo is about 70 to 75…not nearly as strong. However both TiVo's work perfectly.

They may want to put a signal amplifier in. That may or may not resolve your issue. If the SS is weak coming in, it's garbage in, garbage out. The SS from the street all the way to your first connection in the house s/b as strong as they can deliver. Some signal degradation after that can be acceptable, but it shouldn't start until after their connection to your house and it cannot be below 70 or so on your TiVo. So don't give up and don't let anyone else give up either.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
Rich, thanks for the quick response. This problem is happening on both of my 2 tivos, the TVs without cablecards receive the analog channels fine.

I've had Charter for 3 years and everything has been fine unitl 2 weeks ago when there was some minor pixelation. Now many channels have pixelation, both digital and analog. And it does come and go, it's never 100% as some channels always have pixelation, but there are low points where all channels have pixelation and many don't come in at all. I haven't correlated it to rain, but it did rain a lot yesterday and today has been a very bad day with many channels missing (too low of a signal I'm assuming).

The RS Corrected number is much much larger than Uncorrected. But both are high numbers. I do see it on both tuners and both Tivos.

The two visits I've had from Charter were contractors. They suggested I have a Charter Systems Tech come out because he has more meters. He will be here on Sunday, but I thought I should try to educate myself so we can get this figured out. It was interesting you said garbage in/garbage out regarding the amplifier. I had them try that on the last visit and it made no change. They've also run new cable from the box on the corner of my lot to the house and a new cable from the outside into the splitter inside my house. Thanks for any insight you have

I should add that SDV will start Oct. 5th in my area, I wondered if that would affect my signal if they were testing it in the background.

SNR is 29, which doesn't seem to be a good level from what I'm reading.

Last edited by pops_porter : 09-24-2010 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:08 PM   #1472
triftraf
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Tivo Series 3 issue

My series 3 with an over 2 year old 500gb WD DVR Expander has had a few issues..

Problems:
1) Got the Mad Men Season 3 Amazon VOD on my Tivo and it was unwatchable - no pixelation issue - but the audio and video was more what I would call "juttery". Contacted Amazon and they initially said it was their issue - then they had me re-download - but it was still a problem. So I gave up.

2) On a couple ABC shows on this last Wednesday night I had some pixelation and minor audio drops. I checked the signal strength and it was in the 90's.

Since then I've not seen any more pixelation on this channel or others. Looking at the DVR Diagnostics my SNR is 35 and RS Corrected 0 and RS Uncorrected 0 on both tuners. I decided to try kickstart 54 - but I can't seem to get the kickstart to KICK in. Any special process for a Series 3?? All I ever get in 4 lights (2 red, 1 blue, 1 amber) and then eventually the little amber Tivo graphic on the front display... Pause button doesn't seem to cause any difference in the lights that I can detect...

What is the likelihood of this being a drive going bad vs a bad Amazon VOD and a coincidentally bad couple of shows on ABC. Or maybe the limited amount of problems leads the eSata cable going bad?

Thoughts??
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:50 PM   #1473
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Originally Posted by pops_porter View Post
This problem is happening on both of my 2 tivos, the TVs without cablecards receive the analog channels fine. <snip>
All very good info. The fact that it's happening on both boxes and that it only started a couple of weeks ago is a very strong indication that Charter has done something on their end. I've no idea if it has to do with SDV. It doesn't seem likely, but you never know.

Bottom line again then is that your signal is unacceptably low. The contractors likely don't have any authority to deal with anything outside of a residence so it's much more probable that the Charter tech will be able to resolve things.

My WAG is that something happened upstream to cause this. Have you mentioned it to any of your neighbors? It's possible that it's affecting them too…it's also quite possible that it's not. However if it is, that's more data the tech can use to figure things out. I suspect he or she will get things ironed out for you this weekend. Show him what you're dealing with, when it happened, share the fact that things were fine and then this issue happened on both TiVo's and they should understand that all of those aren't coincidences and not likely anything to do with TiVo itself.

Best of luck and let us know how things go!

Last edited by richsadams : 09-24-2010 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Tyop…d'oh!
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:54 PM   #1474
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triftraf View Post
My series 3 with an over 2 year old 500gb WD DVR Expander has had a few issues..

Problems:
1) Got the Mad Men Season 3 Amazon VOD on my Tivo and it was unwatchable - no pixelation issue - but the audio and video was more what I would call "juttery". Contacted Amazon and they initially said it was their issue - then they had me re-download - but it was still a problem. So I gave up.

2) On a couple ABC shows on this last Wednesday night I had some pixelation and minor audio drops. I checked the signal strength and it was in the 90's.

Since then I've not seen any more pixelation on this channel or others. Looking at the DVR Diagnostics my SNR is 35 and RS Corrected 0 and RS Uncorrected 0 on both tuners. I decided to try kickstart 54 - but I can't seem to get the kickstart to KICK in. Any special process for a Series 3?? All I ever get in 4 lights (2 red, 1 blue, 1 amber) and then eventually the little amber Tivo graphic on the front display... Pause button doesn't seem to cause any difference in the lights that I can detect...

What is the likelihood of this being a drive going bad vs a bad Amazon VOD and a coincidentally bad couple of shows on ABC. Or maybe the limited amount of problems leads the eSata cable going bad?

Thoughts??
Well, my money will be on your DVR Expander drive going bad. Lifetime seems to be about 18 months, so you're due in a sense. Have a read of this post and see if anything fits…

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...44#post7553444

With respect to the Kickstart process, the single amber light will illuminate just after all four lights go out. It's very brief and that's why you need to hold down the pause button until you see just that light, quickly release it and then enter the proper KS code. I just tried it on my Series3 to be sure it still works and it does. Follow these directions carefully and you should be able to get it to work…

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...23&postcount=2

Hope that helps and let us know how things turn out!
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:42 PM   #1475
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Well I had an actual Charter Systems Tech out today and he said that yes the signal strength is fine, but the signal quality is "in the dirt" and will need a Charter line tech to come out and do something at the box in the corner of my lot. so the Tivo is fine and it's nothing in my house, just sad it took 3 visits from Charter to figure this out, especially after my first two visits kept saying my signal was fine.

SNR is up to 32 and it's a little better, hopefully my picture will be back to normal after tomorrow.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:35 AM   #1476
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Originally Posted by pops_porter View Post
Well I had an actual Charter Systems Tech out today and he said that yes the signal strength is fine, but the signal quality is "in the dirt" and will need a Charter line tech to come out and do something at the box in the corner of my lot. so the Tivo is fine and it's nothing in my house, just sad it took 3 visits from Charter to figure this out, especially after my first two visits kept saying my signal was fine.

SNR is up to 32 and it's a little better, hopefully my picture will be back to normal after tomorrow.
Ah, just as I thought. What a relief eh? At least you know that it's something that can be fixed...hopefully soon! Thanks for reporting back.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:00 AM   #1477
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Sounds more like a local issue than TiVo if those are the only channels that are having problems. FWIW we've had both Comcast and Verizon FiOS and HGTV had/has macroblocking (pixelization) periodicallly from both carriers…although it was worse with Comcast (especially when an HGTV show would use split screens). I've read posts on other forums indicating the same experiences so I think there is something inherent in their delivered signal causing problems.

That said, the best thing to do now is to check all of your connections (sounds like you already have) like the coax, any splitters, etc. All coax cables s/b new with snug connections. Plug TiVo directly into a wall outlet…do not use a surge protector. (The best thing to use is a UPS). By all means do NOT run your coax through a surge protector either as it can have a severe impact on the cable signal. If all your connections are good the next step is to check several readings found on TiVo's diagnostic screens.

First go ahead and check your signal strength: TiVo Central > Messages and Settings > Settings > Channels > Signal Strength - Cable. Tune to the channels that are presenting problems and see what the meter shows. Note if it is any different for those channels Vs others (probably will be the same). Ideal SS s/b in the range of 70 to 95 (around 90 or so being best) with little fluctuation. If it's continually swinging higher and lower, if it's lower than 70 or if it's pegged at 100 there can be PQ problems.

Next check the Signal to Noise Ratio or SNR for the offending channels: TiVo Central > Messages and Settings > Account and System Information > DVR Diagnostics. Each tuner has its own set of stats with Tuner 0 showing up first…paging down through the screens (Ch up/down on the remote) will take you to Tuner 1. The SNR s/b between 31dB and 37dB and fairly steady. Anything outside of that could indicate signal trouble.

The next thing to check is RS Corrected and RS Uncorrected errors on the problematic channels, ideally when you see problems. These numbers can be found on the same diagnostic screen as those above. What you're looking for are the RS Corrected and RS Uncorrected lines. Ideally they should both be zero. When tuned to the problematic channels you could see hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands or even millions of RS Uncorrected errors. If so, then you have a signal issue, which could be caused by a defective splitter or cable. RS Uncorrected errors are how TiVo reports signal errors that cause macroblocking/pixelization and audio dropouts. If you see 0 RS Uncorrected errors on the channel, then you know you are seeing the channel just as it is delivered. A few dozen or even a few hundred RS Uncorrected errors generally won't be noticeable, but if you see thousands or millions of RS Uncorrected errors per minute, then you know that additional pixelization and/or AV degradation is introduced.

Again, if you're only seeing issues on two channels it doesn't sound like TiVo. If the issues start to propagate to other channels it could be an indication of a failing hard drive, but we won't go there until we get an idea of what you're seeing with respect to the above.

Hope that helps and let us know what you're seeing.
Thank you for your help. A few things, my Tivo has always been on a UPS. I checked the cables, signal strength, SNR. The signal strength for PBS was in the 60's. HGTV was in the mid 80's. SNR was within range (according to Tivo's recommended low/high values). There were no RS corrected/uncorrected errors on either channel.

Comcast came out Saturday, found the outside cable coming into my house had been nicked by something, so the installer replaced the line. That boosted the signal strength across the board. But these 2 channels still pixelate. Then he said that was his second call in one day where both customers had the same issue, previous customer also had a Tivo box. He told the first customer that it may be the Tivo since the channels come in fine with a standard cable box. But now that he was investigating the same issue at my house, he started to think that the problem may be on their end. Maybe something changed and the cablecards are affected. He said he would have someone investigate. Don't know if I'll hear back but it was interesting and highly coincidental to be a Tivo issue.

Thanks.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:36 AM   #1478
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Thank you for your help.

Comcast came out Saturday, found the outside cable coming into my house had been nicked by something, so the installer replaced the line. That boosted the signal strength across the board. But these 2 channels still pixelate. Then he said that was his second call in one day where both customers had the same issue, previous customer also had a Tivo box. He told the first customer that it may be the Tivo since the channels come in fine with a standard cable box. But now that he was investigating the same issue at my house, he started to think that the problem may be on their end. Maybe something changed and the cablecards are affected. He said he would have someone investigate. Don't know if I'll hear back but it was interesting and highly coincidental to be a Tivo issue.

Thanks.
Glad to help. That is interesting, and as mentioned we've seen issues w/HGTV on both Comcast and FiOS, so I suspect that their programming/delivery, something is a little different for some reason. Could be how TiVo handles it, hard to say.

Glad to hear things are better though. Let us know if you ever hear back from them.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:04 PM   #1479
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I've recently been posting some problems and Charter fixed some equipment on their system and most channels are back up in the 80-90 signal range with SNR between 33 and 35.

There are four channels, that were not coming in at all previously but since my signals are higher they do come in but can be pixelated sometimes. Signal levels are about 50 and SNR is 28-29. All of these have a frequency of 753000 kHz or above. Any guesses out there what I could tell the Charter guys of why only these channels have such a poor signal and SNR?
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:45 AM   #1480
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Signal levels anywhere near 50 are way too low. 80-90 isn't wonderful either but you won't get tiling/pixelation from too low a signal level in the eighties. I think most people with cable are seeing values in the 90s, typically 95-100. You've done more than your part for Charter - identifying the problem frequencies and values. It is up to them to figure out why and fix it. Have them check line level at the various outlets, directly at cable end. It's best for TiVo at 0 to +1. Good luck.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:48 AM   #1481
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I've recently been posting some problems and Charter fixed some equipment on their system and most channels are back up in the 80-90 signal range with SNR between 33 and 35.

There are four channels, that were not coming in at all previously but since my signals are higher they do come in but can be pixelated sometimes. Signal levels are about 50 and SNR is 28-29. All of these have a frequency of 753000 kHz or above. Any guesses out there what I could tell the Charter guys of why only these channels have such a poor signal and SNR?
What hmm52 said.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:45 AM   #1482
mentra
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Bad WD expander

After four incidents with Tivo support, I moved the 380 programs recorded on the series 3 with the expander to my computer, divorced the expander from the series 3, and no more pixilation!! The expander was a 500MB and about 18 months old.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:36 PM   #1483
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After four incidents with Tivo support, I moved the 380 programs recorded on the series 3 with the expander to my computer, divorced the expander from the series 3, and no more pixilation!! The expander was a 500MB and about 18 months old.
Ugh…sorry to hear about your "loss". Seems about par for WD's 500GB Expander though. At least you were able to save some recordings!
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:30 AM   #1484
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divorced the expander from the series 3, and no more pixilation!! The expander was a 500MB and about 18 months old.
Same with me, pixilation, stuttering with the 500mb 15 month expander. Went out got a TB internal drive drive and replaced expander and original internal drive and have been happy ever since.

Bedroom still running a 500mb 16 month expander without issue (knock on wood) but I will do the same WHEN (not if) it goes.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:52 AM   #1485
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Followup on Pixellation/Freezing

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Originally Posted by richsadams View Post
Good plan. Although the WD 1TB My DVR Expanders haven't been around as long, there are far fewer reports of any issues with them as compared to the same time frame of the 500GB models so WD may have learned some lessons.

Happy upgrading!
I have successfully upgraded both Tivo HDs with Hitachi 1TB drives - the instructions in the forum are great - the second upgrade only took 25 minutes! It will be awhile before I run out of space. Have had some unexpected reboots on my Premiere (bought before I knew the Expander was causing my problems on the HD). Now that I have two good Tivo HDs, each with 157 HD hours - I plan to return the Premiere and use the HDs and my old Series 2 for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for the help - only thing I would suggest to anyone who has freezing/pixellation problems is to try removing the DVR expander earlier if you can move the recordings easily - could save a lot of time and $.
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:52 AM   #1486
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I have successfully upgraded both Tivo HDs with Hitachi 1TB drives - the instructions in the forum are great - the second upgrade only took 25 minutes!
Glad to hear things worked out okay. Enjoy!
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:57 PM   #1487
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Recent degrading and freezing

I have a Series 3 that has gradually developed a freezing problem. I ran the full disk diagnostic and it passed. Based on what I have read here, the next step seems to be to replace the internal HDD but I wanted to see if there are other suggestions to try first. I have a 652-0001-8056. It has an external 500G WD HDD. Both tested out good for what that is worth.
The symptom started on ESPN with stuttering / pixelization and freezing up while live. If you go up one channel and then back it starts to work again just fine. Then the same symptoms started to spread to other channels. Comcast came out and fixed some cables and tested signal strength but that did not help. I got a Comcast DVR from them to test and that one seems to work without errors so far. I cannot hook both up to the cable as the same time.
Thoughts? Thanks in advance
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:09 PM   #1488
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Arrow Attenuation to bring cable Signal Strength & SNR to acceptable levels, when too high

You may find this post useful for troubleshooting:

http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/sho...81#post8201581

This link to a TiVo Support article may also help:

http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/150
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:26 PM   #1489
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I have a Series 3 that has gradually developed a freezing problem. I ran the full disk diagnostic and it passed. Based on what I have read here, the next step seems to be to replace the internal HDD but I wanted to see if there are other suggestions to try first. I have a 652-0001-8056. It has an external 500G WD HDD. Both tested out good for what that is worth.
The symptom started on ESPN with stuttering / pixelization and freezing up while live. If you go up one channel and then back it starts to work again just fine. Then the same symptoms started to spread to other channels. Comcast came out and fixed some cables and tested signal strength but that did not help. I got a Comcast DVR from them to test and that one seems to work without errors so far. I cannot hook both up to the cable as the same time.
Thoughts? Thanks in advance
The external 500G DVR Expanders are notorious for causing macroblocking and freezing issues. About the only way to be sure is to divorce the external drive and see if the problem goes away.

Before you do that, you should check out DVR diags when you see macroblocking 'live' and see if your RS Uncorrected count is increasing significantly. That could be indicative of a signal issue.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:41 PM   #1490
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I have a Series 3 that has gradually developed a freezing problem. I ran the full disk diagnostic and it passed. Based on what I have read here, the next step seems to be to replace the internal HDD but I wanted to see if there are other suggestions to try first. I have a 652-0001-8056. It has an external 500G WD HDD. Both tested out good for what that is worth.
The symptom started on ESPN with stuttering / pixelization and freezing up while live. If you go up one channel and then back it starts to work again just fine. Then the same symptoms started to spread to other channels. Comcast came out and fixed some cables and tested signal strength but that did not help. I got a Comcast DVR from them to test and that one seems to work without errors so far. I cannot hook both up to the cable as the same time.
Thoughts? Thanks in advance
What SCSIRAID said and have a look at this post and see if anything helps:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...44#post7553444

You could also try running a couple of TiVo's built-in diagnostic and repair programs called "Kickstarts". Here's a link and a recommend order in which to try each one...

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...23&postcount=2
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:48 PM   #1491
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Can anyone help?
At this point, TiVo help is blaming Comcast and Comcast is blaming TiVo.

I have a TiVO HD (several years old) that is having severe pixelation problems. One or two channels I cannot tune at all and 28 other channels are pixelating so bad that they are unwatchable (stuttering, freezing, pixelating every two seconds)....and other channels are pixelating that never did it before. It has been going on for several months and seems to be getting worse (it started with only 8 channel problems). For several years this TiVO worked fine. My other TiVos (with other set ups) are working perfectly.

My set up:
TiVO HD with two SA cable cards connected with an HDMI cable to TV - no external drives -hard drive is expanded (weaknees) for 47 HD hours.
The TiVO is not acting up in any other way- some channels are perfect - records what it is supposed to - jumps menus on demand - and no rebooting on its own- no pixelating in menus.

What I have tried so far:
soft and hard reboots
replaced every cable (coaxial, HDMI)
removed HDMI cable and tried composite and component
Ran kickstarts 54,57, and 58 - all passed
Attenuators and splitters

TiVo help insists that the signal is to "hot". Signal strength on every channel is 100 with SNF 38 (RS correction 0). But when I added attenuators and got it down to 80-85 with SNF 30-35...it was no improvement.....and I started to see many different numbers in RS correction.

Oh, and one TiVO help said that if I just bought a new Premiere I would not have these problems. But the next TiVO help said that a Premiere would have the same problems -- since it is a cable issue.

Comcast service tech asked me if I have a TiVO before he set foot in the door. He told me that is seems to be a known issue in my area and that Comcast is "working on the problem" ---it is some problem with the TiVos in my area -- not a Comcast issue....but they were trying to help.

Three weeks later and I cannot get a Comcast supervisor to call me back -- and the problem is getting worse.

While the tech was here, he checked the signal and said it was "fine". He checked the cable cards and said they were fine. I never thought it was a cable card issue because the channels problems happen the same on both cards.

I know TiVos go bad with time. That is just life. But I am not willing to spend $468 for a Premier with lifetime service and have the same problems.

I have also read that cable cards go bad - I would demand new ones- but Comcast insists mine are fine and that it is my TiVo that is causing the problems.

And here is one more symptom...recently Comcast is my area add another tier of HD channels. So in some cases I have the same stations on three different numbers (1 digital, and 2 HD). For example, Disney is channel 34 (digital),715 (HD) and 880 (HD). Dinsey happens to be one of my problem channels and the pixelation is the same on all three channels. Does this make sense to anyone?

How can I tell if my harddrive is going bad?
How can I tell if it is a tuner going bad?
How can I tell if it is a cable card issue?
How can I tell if it is a cable issue?

Does any one have any suggestions?
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:13 PM   #1492
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Can anyone help?
At this point, TiVo help is blaming Comcast and Comcast is blaming TiVo.
<snip>
How frustrating! First, can you clarify exactly which TiVo model you have? Is it one of the original TiVo Series3's or the next gen TiVo HD? I ask because you indicated that you have two cable cards. The Series3 required to cable cards (single or multi-stream), but the TiVo HD only requires one multi-stream (but can also use two single-stream cards).

TiVo Series3
http://i39.tinypic.com/2ela4it.jpg

TiVo HD
http://i41.tinypic.com/2nqy554.jpg

Also, what models are your other TiVo's? I ask because if they are hi-def (Original Series3 or TiVo HD) and are not experiencing any problems my take would be a failing hard drive. Although a strong signal can cause the issues you're seeing your other TiVo's s/b experiencing the same problem(s) if they are also hi-def.

Plus if the problem is getting worse it also points to eminent hard drive failure. TiVo's diagnostic and repair programs (AKA "Kickstarts") are only capable of so much. If the issues are too severe they won't be able to repair them and there's really no way for you to know if they were effective other than if the problem goes away. KS54 is a standard Linux SMART test is is not infallible. Many folks have reported their drives "passing" SMART however when they run a more robust diagnostic like Western Digital's Lifeguard the drive's don't pass.

There's really no way of knowing if the drive is failing without pulling it and running a proper diagnostic. The downside of that is that if you were to run a full diagnostic (read/write/read all zeros) it would wipe all of your hard drive's data.

So my take based on your description is that it's probably a failing hard drive. Hard drive failure is the most common problem with TiVo (by far). However it's possible that it's a cable card issue. If you have a TiVo HD and you have two of the old single stream (SS) cable cards I would ask Comcast to replace them with one newer multi-stream (MS) cable card to eliminate that possibility. (Might save you rental costs as well). I still don't think that's the problem because one failing cable card (or tuner for that matter) would only affect some of your recordings.

FWIW cableco's are infamous for pushing off a problem on TiVo even though it is often something wrong with their system. Although they are required by law to support cable card setups, they really have little interest becuase TiVo basically costs them revenue that they could have by renting you one of their DVR's. A lot of cableco's do a good job these days as TiVo's are far more prevalent, but there is often resistance and it's an easy out for the folks that are more interested in getting to the next job and going home than learning something. In other words, some cableco's need to be pushed pretty hard to resolve issues so don't take "no", or worse, "we don't know" for an answer.

Hope that helps a little. Post some more info and we'll go from there.
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:50 AM   #1493
arowaninpgh
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Rich--
Thank you so, so much for your response. This site is a fantastic thing....especially for people that love their TiVo's, but have no one else to go to.

In my family, I am the "geek"....which is a sad state of affairs. What I mean is that, when they need help...for example, why their TV remote stopped working ("how about changing the battery?") they call me. ("Is your computer plugged in?")

I also talked them all in to getting TiVos.....so now I am TiVo customer service for a bunch of stubborn people.

So here is an update....Monday morning I lost my Comcast service for an hour and when it came back on.....all of my problem channels (I was up to 35) had been fixed. Like magic. And as of five minutes ago...they were all still working perfectly.

I have been trying to fix the problem for over 3 months. It started out with just 3 channels, then 8, then 22....and then up to 35 channels that were unwatchable.

Because it was getting worse and involved both tuners, I had myself convinced that it was my TiVO HD hard drive...hey, hard drives go bad....and that I would have to replace the drive or upgrade to a Premier. But before I spent any more money, I just wanted to make sure it really was my TiVo HD....and not a cable card or my cable service.

All Comcast had to say was "we're working on it". I would not have wasted so much time (it had become a part time job), or calling TiVo help....and not to mention wasting your time.

Instead they said "it is a known issue with TiVo HDs in your area. We're not sure if we can help you if it a TiVo problem. We'll have a supervisor call you." But no one ever called....in three weeks (I kept calling for updates). So I assumed I was on my own.

So...fingers crossed that it is fixed.

I just wanted to thank you for your response. And I wanted to post.....anyone in the Bethel Park, PA area with a TiVo HD with Comcast Xfinity service.....that has freezing screens, pixelation, or lost channels.....don't blame your TiVo......call Comcast....over and over. *sigh*

Regards,
Amy
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:41 AM   #1494
nkmhockey
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Note

To all those who were having problems in the Bethel Park or Pittsburgh, PA areas:

I got my TiVo Premiere installed at the end of November and the pixilation problems were there from the start. Sadly, I did not notice the issue until the tech who installed the cablecard left. I made a list of the channels that were unwatchable due to pixilation and I made a separate list of channels that I am subscribed to, but only showed up as the black “Searching for Signal” screen on the TiVo. I submitted these lists via the 'Comcast Direct' forum at DSLReports.com

That forum is privately handled by a Corporate Escalations Team at Comcast who are all very good at getting issues taken care of and providing top-notch customer service. I suspected the issue could be signal related, but even when I eliminated all splitters and took the cable drop straight into the TiVo, there was absolutely no improvement or change in the problematic channels, so I suspected it was an issue on Comcast’s end.

I was contacted by Tony from the escalations team who dispatched a tech to my house yesterday. I checked the problem channels before the tech arrived, and to my surprise, all but 2 of them were 100% fixed. The tech arrived and ran some tests on the signal in the house to verify that everything was within specifications, it all checked out fine. The tech spoke about some problems in the area caused by a firmware upgrade to TiVo’s that was causing the pixilation problem only on certain frequencies. Apparently, Comcast was aware of the issue, but it took them a few weeks to isolate the problem and get it fixed.

Channels that were completely missing:
103 - Planet Green - 609,000 KHz
129 - G4 - 609,000 KHz
186 - The Sportsman Channel - 627,000 KHz
716/881 - ABC Family HD - 477,000 KHz

Channels that were viewable, but basically unwatchable due to pixilation:
120 - National Geographic - 597,000 KHz
127 - Outdoor Channel - 621,000 KHz
134 - DIY - 603,000 KHz
139 - MTV Jams - 615,000 KHz
185 - C-SPAN3 - 597,000 KHz
209 - Fox Business - 603,000 KHz
229 - Qubo - 657,000 KHz
233 - PBS Kids Sprout - 609,000 KHz
255 - Hallmark Channel - 111,000 KHz
715 - Disney Channel-HD - 477,000 KHz
733 - HGTV-HD - 717,000 KHz
737 - CNN-HD - 717,000 KHz
738/826 - TBS-HD - 747,000 KHz

As of today, the only 2 channels that are still not working are:
716/881 – ABC Family HD – 477,000 KHz (no signal)
715 – Disney HD – 477,000 KHz (pixilation)

The tech made a note of those channels and said hopefully the issue would be fully resolved in the next few days. Tony from escalations followed up and made a note of the 2 remaining problem channels and said he would call again on Friday to verify that everything is working correctly.

I will be happy if the last 2 channels are fixed by the New Year. I just hope that this issue has been corrected permanently because my Premiere unit has not gotten the 14.7 update yet. Time will tell….

I hope this information helps others who may have similar issues in other areas.
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Old 12-25-2010, 09:22 AM   #1495
arowaninpgh
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Posts: 3
nkmhockey-
thanks for the information. I live in Bethel Park and had problems with the exact same channels. For two days they were fixed and then I lost:
716/881 – ABC Family HD – 477,000 KHz (no signal)
715 – Disney HD – 477,000 KHz (pixilation).

At that point I started to believe that it must be my hard drive. I had even started pricing for a replacement.

One question.....besides those 715 and 716 are you having any slight pixelation on other channels? The channels are still watchable, but it is noticeable. And this is on channels that did not have pixelation before the fix. The best example I can give is channel 37 (the weather channel)....never had problems before and now there is pixelation about every two minutes.

I'm just double checking to make sure it is not just me. Thanks!

Merry holidays!
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:10 AM   #1496
nkmhockey
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Posts: 2
I did not previously notice any issues with The Weather Channel, but yes, as of 12/24 I am having some major pixilation issues.

I have not noticed issues on any other channels - everything seems perfect, no pixilation or tiling.

This definitely shouldn't be a hardware problem. Comcast originally tried to blame the CableCard, but that would likely cause issues on all/most channels, not this limited set.

I will check the frequency of TWC when I get home later to see if it is in the same 477,000 KHz range.
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:16 PM   #1497
hio3791
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Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by hio3791 View Post
Hi everyone,

I have a Series 3 TivoHD with Comcast in the Pittsburgh market. My Tivo box is unmodified and I do not have an expansion drive on it. I bought this unit in January 2010 and I noticed pixelation about 2 weeks ago. The problem occurs 100% of the time on PBS Sprout channel (SD). It also happens quite a bit on HGTV (HD). As far as I know, the other channels are coming in fine, at least haven't noticed it on any other channels.

I've rebooted the box, I had Comcast come out, they checked the coax cable from the wall to the box and swapped out the CableCard. That made no difference. The technician did mention that we have a weak signal at that outlet. Which is surprising because the technician that came out during the install said we had a strong signal.

Any suggestions?

Thank you very much! My 19 month old and 4 yr old watch a lot of Sprout and my wife watches HGTV, so I am getting a lot of heat from them to get this fixed! LOL
Got an update on this issue. About 3 weeks ago, Nick Jr started pixelating. DIYNetwork did too. I called Tivo support and we walked through the steps: replaced the coax cable, went over signal strength, SNR and RS Corrected/Uncorrected values. The service rep was puzzled by the signal strength and SNR values. He thought they were too high and recommended I called Comcast and request an attenuator to be installed. Comcast came out, installed an attenuator at my box and voila! No more pixelation. All of my channels come in perfectly clear and the family is happy again.

It's been over 2 weeks since the attenuator was installed and everything appears fine.
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:26 PM   #1498
richsadams
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Posts: 8,853
Quote:
Originally Posted by hio3791 View Post
Got an update on this issue. About 3 weeks ago, Nick Jr started pixelating. DIYNetwork did too. I called Tivo support and we walked through the steps: replaced the coax cable, went over signal strength, SNR and RS Corrected/Uncorrected values. The service rep was puzzled by the signal strength and SNR values. He thought they were too high and recommended I called Comcast and request an attenuator to be installed. Comcast came out, installed an attenuator at my box and voila! No more pixelation. All of my channels come in perfectly clear and the family is happy again.

It's been over 2 weeks since the attenuator was installed and everything appears fine.
Good info. We went through something similar a couple of years ago (before we switched to FiOS). Comcast went on a competitive mission to upgrade all of their services, particularly broadband speeds, to meet Verizon's new FiOS offering. It was a plus because we'd often hit 30Mbps+ broadband download speeds (although they were never stable) but the downside was the signal strength pegged every channel at 100% and that often resulted in macroblocking...the signal was too strong. Their own DVR's could apparently handle it, but TiVo's are more sensitive to that sort of thing. We never went the attenuation route as we switched to FiOS as soon as it was available, but it can be a problem. (It was actually a severe problem for some FiOS customers until Verizon realized that more is not necessarily better and got their own signals under control.)

Comcast continues to cram more and more data into a finite pipe (more often than not adding more and more compression to their HD signals which results in poorer and poorer PQ) so they can offer competitive programming. The thought process I'm sure is that cranking up the signal strength will compensate for some of their activity. Unfortunately for TiVo owners that can cause more trouble than good.

Glad to hear things are good again though!
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:25 PM   #1499
joediver
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Similar problems with Comcast. What strength attenuator was installed? 3db, 6db, 10db?
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:48 AM   #1500
mike1273
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 16
Wink TiVo Pixelation

I just returned to cable from two years with DirecTV. No problems with the service but my wife wanted TiVo again and Suddenlink now offers the HD programs that we enjoy.

I took my TiVo HD out of the closet (two years active and two years in the closet) and got service.

SS always 100 with no RS issues and 38 dB SNR. Pixeliation on several channels, loss of audio on some and the affected shannels growing by the day. Tried attenuators but no joy. Suddenlink checked system and saw no issues. I was ready to buy a Premiere but saw the Kickstart codes on this forum. I ran all of them and now, after four days, have had no issues with the TiVo.

I hope that this may help some of you.
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